H sued W to dissolve their marriage. Judge B was assigned to handle the case and decided several issues on the merits. Then W’s company X filed a suit against H over a debt that was also a matter of dispute in the marital dissolution proceedings. H filed a notice of related cases, and the court assigned X’s suit to Judge B (but the cases were not consolidated). X filed a 170.6 in its new case. Held, since X’s suit was not a continuation of the marital dissolution proceeding, X’s timely 170.6 challenge was effective, and X’s suit had to be transferred to a new judge. However, Judge B erred in also transferring the marital dissolution proceeding in which no 170.6 challenge was or could then have been filed. When cases are merely related, not consolidated, transfer of one of them to a new judge based on an effective 170.6 challenge does not require or allow transfer of the other related case in which no challenge is filed.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 5 (Baker, J.); September 16, 2016; 2016 WL 4939297